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  1. #2681
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bigglesworth View Post
    b. the data suggests the extent to which infielders didn't get to ground balls did not hurt him nearly as much as you think.
    Can you explain what you mean by this? Because this kind of lines up with my thinking on Porcello, and I'm curious.

    ETA:

    Just scrolled up and saw Sabre's post.
    Last edited by catswithbats; 12-17-2012 at 04:57 PM.
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  2. #2682
    Sven Draconian is offline MotownSports Fan
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    What's interesting about Porcello is he is a very interesting case study in BABIP/DIPS/McCraken ect...

    One of the most accepted explanations for the phenomenon that there was very little difference between a major league pitchers ability to control BABIP was that a pitcher who can not control contact would wash out in the minor leagues or early on as a pro. Basically, over the course of a minor league career you either learned how to keep hitters off balance or you stop getting promoted. Pitchers can learn to do that a a few different ways depending on their talents.

    Porcello never had that learning experience. That could explain why he has 4 straight years of rising BABIP and 3 consecutive years of a higher than average BABIP. Over the same 3 year stretch Porcello has been below average, Justin Verlander has been better than average (including a .237 in '11 and a .275 in '12). Although, interestingly enough, Scherzer's BABIP numbers are nearly identical to Porcello. In fact, Scherzer has spent his entire career giving up slighty more hits than expected (with the exception being last year's high mark at .337).

    Not really positive where I was going with that now.....

  3. #2683
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Draconian View Post
    What's interesting about Porcello is he is a very interesting case study in BABIP/DIPS/McCraken ect...

    One of the most accepted explanations for the phenomenon that there was very little difference between a major league pitchers ability to control BABIP was that a pitcher who can not control contact would wash out in the minor leagues or early on as a pro. Basically, over the course of a minor league career you either learned how to keep hitters off balance or you stop getting promoted. Pitchers can learn to do that a a few different ways depending on their talents.

    Porcello never had that learning experience. That could explain why he has 4 straight years of rising BABIP and 3 consecutive years of a higher than average BABIP. Over the same 3 year stretch Porcello has been below average, Justin Verlander has been better than average (including a .237 in '11 and a .275 in '12). Although, interestingly enough, Scherzer's BABIP numbers are nearly identical to Porcello. In fact, Scherzer has spent his entire career giving up slighty more hits than expected (with the exception being last year's high mark at .337).

    Not really positive where I was going with that now.....
    I also noticed that Scherzer had almost as much OPS trouble against left handers last season as Porcello. I guess the difference in the ERA result is that the Ks strand a lot of guys on the bases, and that rising fastball of Max's can get a swing and miss from righty or a lefty when he really needs an out. Best pure swing and miss FB on the staff.
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  4. #2684
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    That pictures shows how much Miggy and Avisail look alike, more so than any of the pictures i've looked at before.
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  5. #2685
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    Does a fastball...even one as great as Scherzer's...really rise?

  6. #2686
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shinzaki View Post
    Does a fastball...even one as great as Scherzer's...really rise?
    Relative to the path that a non-spinning/non-stitched sphere would follow if coming from same point of origin at the same speed, yes. The eye/brain knows the arc that the ball should 'naturally' follow. A great live fastball ends up above that point and batters consistently swing under it - you get a lot of misses and pop-ups.
    'No Way To Prevent This, Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

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  7. #2687
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    The Tigers are reportedly receiving interest in Rick Porcello, and according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports the team is also fielding calls on Drew Smyly (Twitter link). Detroit isn't necessarily committed to trading one or the other, but Knobler guesses that one of the two will go.
    Read more at MLB Rumors - MLBTradeRumors.com

  8. #2688
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    Trading Smyly instead of Porcello seems like a big mistake to me
    Kobernoooooous

  9. #2689
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    I love Smyly's stuff...I just hope he can avoid the blisters/injuries that have plagued him.
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  10. #2690
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    I just can't see any reason the Tigers need to move a pitcher before the end of spring training. Until then you are not going to know if you really have 6 healthy starters or not. Everyone always wants pitching, the Tigers can make the call on the timing to their own best benefit.
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  11. #2691
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    Quote Originally Posted by alwaysthrowheat View Post
    So essentially you make a comment, I refute it with statistics and facts, and you just get to say "no stats will convince me" after trying to use stats to support your own argument? Okay.
    There's plenty of stats that convince me. You're just choosing a limited number of stats to look at the prove your point, while ignoring all the rest.

    I'm choosing to look at Porcello's FIP and K rate. I'm also choosing to look at the Tigers' defensive metrics. They tell me that Porcello has improved in skill every year he has been in the league. They also tell me that the Tigers' defense has been getting progressively worse year after year for the last few years. We went from Adam Everett and Placido Polanco up the middle, to Peralta at SS to Raburn at 2B to Cabrera/Fielder at the corners.

    There's a margin for error in all the stats you cite. There's both sampling error and measurement error. You'll get sampling error even if you have perfect measurements. There's not a lot of measurement error involved in BABIP, but when you cut down the sample size to only one pitcher's starts, and then you cut it down to only ground balls, you're going to increase your capacity for sampling error.

    It's one thing to use stats rather than "personal observation" to buttress your arguments, but it's another to use them to blind yourself to common sense. I trust the season-long defensive metrics, which coincide with observational common sense far better than I trust small sample sizes that are the result of randomness. And those stats tell me that Rick Porcello induces a lot of ground balls, and our infield defense is bad at converting those ground balls into outs.

    I am 100% sure he would fare much better if we at least had some guys up the middle with some range.
    Distribution of wealth is not in any way democratic. It is, in fact, tyrannical, in that a very select few own almost all of it, while most have little to no access. To have a country that prioritizes wealth over individual rights is the antithesis of democracy.

  12. #2692
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    Quote Originally Posted by PuNk42AE View Post

    That pictures shows how much Miggy and Avisail look alike, more so than any of the pictures i've looked at before.
    Is that the full compliment of Venezuelan Tigres? Besides V-Mart of course.
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  13. #2693
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gehringer_2 View Post
    I just can't see any reason the Tigers need to move a pitcher before the end of spring training. Until then you are not going to know if you really have 6 healthy starters or not. Everyone always wants pitching, the Tigers can make the call on the timing to their own best benefit.
    Completely agree. Of course, if the Tigers receive an overwhelming offer for either or both pitchers (I can imagine that if the return includes a starting pitcher) it might make sense to make the trade.

  14. #2694
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    I don't think I've ever had such high expectations for the Tigers coming into a season as I do for 2013. I think this is a 100 win team.
    the above opinion is not respected by Deleterious

  15. #2695
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddha View Post
    I don't think I've ever had such high expectations for the Tigers coming into a season as I do for 2013. I think this is a 100 win team.
    My expectations have not been this high since 1985.
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  16. #2696
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROMAD1 View Post
    Is that the full compliment of Venezuelan Tigres? Besides V-Mart of course.
    Villarreal is from Venezuela. Rondon is as well (assuming he gets a spot on the 2013 club)

  17. #2697
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    For example, BABIP doesn't account for double plays not turned, since the guy is charged for the out, but the pitcher in reality only gets one instead of two. Also, our infield could have simply gotten lucky on ground balls from a BABIP standpoint, but would have gotten "luckier" had their fielding been better.

    Either way, it doesn't suffice to just pull up someone's BABIP on ground balls from a sample size of only 31 starts and have it contradict all common sense.
    Distribution of wealth is not in any way democratic. It is, in fact, tyrannical, in that a very select few own almost all of it, while most have little to no access. To have a country that prioritizes wealth over individual rights is the antithesis of democracy.

  18. #2698
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bigglesworth View Post
    Two thoughts:

    a. This is a cop-out, IMHO, and

    b. the data suggests the extent to which infielders didn't get to ground balls did not hurt him nearly as much as you think.
    Not a cop out for the reasons stated above.
    Distribution of wealth is not in any way democratic. It is, in fact, tyrannical, in that a very select few own almost all of it, while most have little to no access. To have a country that prioritizes wealth over individual rights is the antithesis of democracy.

  19. #2699
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger337 View Post
    My expectations have not been this high since 1985.
    Mine since 1962 after the "61 teaser.
    It's pronounced Canada, and no, I haven't.

  20. #2700
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCouga View Post
    There's plenty of stats that convince me. You're just choosing a limited number of stats to look at the prove your point, while ignoring all the rest.

    I'm choosing to look at Porcello's FIP and K rate. I'm also choosing to look at the Tigers' defensive metrics. They tell me that Porcello has improved in skill every year he has been in the league. They also tell me that the Tigers' defense has been getting progressively worse year after year for the last few years.
    TBF, from 2010-11-12 the Tiger team DE varied only 0.708-0.704.-0.707. I don't think a pitchers results are going to move much on a third decimal place move in team DE, and since the OF almost certainly was no better in 11&12 after Mags left (who at least caught the ball) that means as a whole the IF could not have been much worse. I would agree that there was a material drop off from RPs first year in 2009 (DE=0.693), but since Everett has been gone I don't think any of our IFs (10/11/12) have been that much worse or better than any of the others and DE tends to bear that out. I mean, Inge was playing some pretty horrible 3b at the end of his time, Carlos was trying to play 2b in 2010 and 2011. And Cabby has graded out better as a 3b in '12 than as a 1b in prior years by FRAA and Prince rated higher in '12 at 1b by FRAA that Cabby had been at 1b by FRAA. So all in all, yes, they are not a great IF, but the numbers we have don't seem to indicate there has been any striking net changes since the beginning of the 2010 season.

    The problem for me with Porcello is that you really don't have to look at the more abstract aggregates. When you break down his pitch FX charts he just doesn't have good stuff, and he has no effective pitch against left-handers. That is confirmed when you watch him. He cannot throw his fast ball above bats consistently, he cannot fool guys out in front with his change, and the second or third time through the line-up hitters get the measure the sinker and start hitting it and he has no way to break their timing or eye level. The slider does not break big enough to get swings and misses even from right handers.

    I think the kid has a great arm and should (and maybe will) be a much better pitcher than he is, but right now he isn't and arguing that he is is a tough sell.
    Last edited by Gehringer_2; 12-17-2012 at 10:53 PM.
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  21. #2701
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    Maybe DD is motivated to trade Porcello(rather than Smyly) and to a lesser extent Bosch and if possible Santiago to save som $$$. Those 3 could be 8 million and we could do without all of them.....

  22. #2702
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    This may sound crazy...but I think Valverde might return...I was rewatching the ALCS clinch celebration...I think he wants to return...the gm and manager might be another story.
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  23. #2703
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROMAD1 View Post
    This may sound crazy...but I think Valverde might return...I was rewatching the ALCS clinch celebration...I think he wants to return...the gm and manager might be another story.
    uhh.......no


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    I wonder how much Kelly Johnson is asking for after his horrible season? 6.75M last year, sign him for 3M as a super-sub? Although looking back at it, he hasn't played LF since his first season in the big leagues.
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  25. #2705
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROMAD1 View Post
    This may sound crazy...but I think Valverde might return...I was rewatching the ALCS clinch celebration...I think he wants to return...the gm and manager might be another story.
    DD already said they weren't bringing him back. Like, immediately after the WS ended...
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  26. #2706
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCouga View Post
    For example, BABIP doesn't account for double plays not turned, since the guy is charged for the out, but the pitcher in reality only gets one instead of two. Also, our infield could have simply gotten lucky on ground balls from a BABIP standpoint, but would have gotten "luckier" had their fielding been better.

    Either way, it doesn't suffice to just pull up someone's BABIP on ground balls from a sample size of only 31 starts and have it contradict all common sense.
    If the Porcello and the Infield lucked his way into league average production on ground ball BABIP, then that is ultimately what mattered. Could they have been better? Sure, but that isn't the discussion. The basic premise was that Porcello wasa the unlucky victim of terrible defense on ground balls. That isn't true. The infield defense performed about as expected. The issue is he doesn't strike anybody out and gives up way to many line drives.

    I also think moving Porcello might be a financial move. I guess that his arbitration is going to be around 5 million. Smyly will make about a tenth of that and produce similar numbers. Considering the big money we have already spent this off-season, it's reasonable to think Illich/DD wants to cut some of the fat (Boesch, Porcello, Santiago?) off the payroll.

  27. #2707
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCouga View Post
    For example, BABIP doesn't account for double plays not turned, since the guy is charged for the out, but the pitcher in reality only gets one instead of two. Also, our infield could have simply gotten lucky on ground balls from a BABIP standpoint, but would have gotten "luckier" had their fielding been better.

    Either way, it doesn't suffice to just pull up someone's BABIP on ground balls from a sample size of only 31 starts and have it contradict all common sense.
    All common sense? Does it really run counter to all common sense to say that given his line drive rate that he wasn't hurt as much by infield defense as you make out?

  28. #2708
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCouga View Post
    Not a cop out for the reasons stated above.
    At the time it was written, it read as a cop-out. Not my fault that you didn't clarify your position until later in the thread.

  29. #2709
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    I also think moving Porcello might be a financial move. I guess that his arbitration is going to be around 5 million. Smyly will make about a tenth of that and produce similar numbers. Considering the big money we have already spent this off-season, it's reasonable to think Illich/DD wants to cut some of the fat (Boesch, Porcello, Santiago?) off the payroll.
    I think this definitely factors into what kind of offer would be enough to make the trade. On XM, they keep talking up Porcello, so I really think he might provide good value. The question is if he will garner a good enough middle IF prospect, or other high graded prospect to make it worth while. The ideal would be to find a way to make a deal with Texas for Andrus, obviously it would probably need to include Castellanos. At this point, we don't have a SS or 2b for 2014, so if Rick can help fill one of those spots with an above average player, it is definitely worth making a move. I definitely don't think it is worth trading him for any reliever or platoon corner OF, or really any OF unless we plan on doing a 3-way trade.
    Micah 7:7

  30. #2710
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Draconian View Post
    The infield defense performed about as expected.
    This isn't necessarily true. You can't just look at ground ball BABIP and come to this conclusion.
    Distribution of wealth is not in any way democratic. It is, in fact, tyrannical, in that a very select few own almost all of it, while most have little to no access. To have a country that prioritizes wealth over individual rights is the antithesis of democracy.

  31. #2711
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bigglesworth View Post
    All common sense? Does it really run counter to all common sense to say that given his line drive rate that he wasn't hurt as much by infield defense as you make out?
    My position is that our infield defense hurts everyone because it is bad, but hurts Porcello more because he induces more ground balls.

    His line drive rate is a separate problem.
    Distribution of wealth is not in any way democratic. It is, in fact, tyrannical, in that a very select few own almost all of it, while most have little to no access. To have a country that prioritizes wealth over individual rights is the antithesis of democracy.

  32. #2712
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    Personally, I think Porcello was the victim of Rick Knapp for too long. He needs to bring his 4-seam fastball back with movement and consistency, and he needs to focus more on strikeouts. He seemed to make some progress last year, and on top of that, his stats were inflated by a few blowouts.

    I really hope the Tigers don't move him just for the sake of moving him. I'm leaning more toward keeping both Smyly and Porcello each day.
    Distribution of wealth is not in any way democratic. It is, in fact, tyrannical, in that a very select few own almost all of it, while most have little to no access. To have a country that prioritizes wealth over individual rights is the antithesis of democracy.

  33. #2713
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCouga View Post
    Personally, I think Porcello was the victim of Rick Knapp for too long. He needs to bring his 4-seam fastball back with movement and consistency, and he needs to focus more on strikeouts. He seemed to make some progress last year, and on top of that, his stats were inflated by a few blowouts.

    I really hope the Tigers don't move him just for the sake of moving him. I'm leaning more toward keeping both Smyly and Porcello each day.
    4.2 ERA without that ridiculous Texas game, the 2nd game of the year.

  34. #2714
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCouga View Post
    I'm choosing to look at Porcello's FIP and K rate. I'm also choosing to look at the Tigers' defensive metrics. They tell me that Porcello has improved in skill every year he has been in the league.
    The thing is the league improved in that same time frame as well. Much of Porcello's improvement coincides with the entire league improving.

    Relative to league average, Rick's K-rate has been:

    09: 68% of league average,
    10: 68%
    11: 74%
    12: 74%

    So he improved marginally in striking people out relative to the league between 2010 and 2011. Other than that, his fluctuation in K-rate matches the league.

    Same thing with K/BB rate. Rick has improved it every year, but so has the AL. Here
    are the rates for the last 4 years:

    Year...Rick...AL
    09.....1.71...2.03
    10.....2.21...2.11
    11.....2.26...2.25
    12.....2.43...2.45

    It looks to me like Rick was below average in 09, made a nice improvement to be slightly above average in 2010, then settled into a league average K/BB rate in 2011 and 2012. I don't view this as a 4-year improvement. I view it as a 1-time improvement after his rookie year and has basically floated with league average since.

    He has improved his HR allowed rate, both in real terms and against league, and that is reflected in his FIP. He deserves credit for that. But again the AL FIP has dropped from 09-12. xFIP actually suggests Rick was a little better than league average in 09, worse in 10, league average in 11, and a little better than league average in 12 (not so different from 09).

    In any event, I think relative to the league Rick has improved his HR rate steadily, his walk rate once (not discussed here) his K-rate once (discussed here) and his K/BB once. I don't think he is significantly better now than 2010 (with the source of improvement largely coming from HR rate).

  35. #2715
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bigglesworth View Post
    The thing is the league improved in that same time frame as well. Much of Porcello's improvement coincides with the entire league improving.

    Relative to league average, Rick's K-rate has been:

    09: 68% of league average,
    10: 68%
    11: 74%
    12: 74%

    So he improved marginally in striking people out relative to the league between 2010 and 2011. Other than that, his fluctuation in K-rate matches the league.

    Same thing with K/BB rate. Rick has improved it every year, but so has the AL. Here
    are the rates for the last 4 years:

    Year...Rick...AL
    09.....1.71...2.03
    10.....2.21...2.11
    11.....2.26...2.25
    12.....2.43...2.45

    It looks to me like Rick was below average in 09, made a nice improvement to be slightly above average in 2010, then settled into a league average K/BB rate in 2011 and 2012. I don't view this as a 4-year improvement. I view it as a 1-time improvement after his rookie year and has basically floated with league average since.

    He has improved his HR allowed rate, both in real terms and against league, and that is reflected in his FIP. He deserves credit for that. But again the AL FIP has dropped from 09-12. xFIP actually suggests Rick was a little better than league average in 09, worse in 10, league average in 11, and a little better than league average in 12 (not so different from 09).

    In any event, I think relative to the league Rick has improved his HR rate steadily, his walk rate once (not discussed here) his K-rate once (discussed here) and his K/BB once. I don't think he is significantly better now than 2010 (with the source of improvement largely coming from HR rate).
    So Porcello is a league average starter that appears to be a bit worse than league average due to the bad defense behind him? That seems like a pretty useful thing to have as a 5th/6th starter on your roster, especially since the 7th starter on the roster looks to be well below replacement level (side note, who is the 7th starter on this team right now? Am I missing someone or is our depth really as bad as it looks?)
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCouga View Post
    Personally, I think Porcello was the victim of Rick Knapp for too long.
    I think this might be true. Just my WAG speculation, but I think in his over-focus on the sinker, he may lost lost the feel for how to spin the ball hard enough to throw a good slider or a live fastball (since the more a 2 seam sinker spins, the less it sinks). The night of the playoff in 2009 he was spinning his 4 seamer at about 2500 rpm and got 11 whiffs off it. Typically since then his 4 seamer rotates more like 2000 rpm and he gets pretty much no whiffs.

    In comparison, JV's usual FB spins ~3000 rpm and Max can beat that on a good day.
    Last edited by Gehringer_2; 12-18-2012 at 05:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by qsilvr2531 View Post
    So Porcello is a league average starter that appears to be a bit worse than league average due to the bad defense behind him? That seems like a pretty useful thing to have as a 5th/6th starter on your roster, especially since the 7th starter on the roster looks to be well below replacement level (side note, who is the 7th starter on this team right now? Am I missing someone or is our depth really as bad as it looks?)
    Have I suggested otherwise?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gehringer_2 View Post
    TBF, from 2010-11-12 the Tiger team DE varied only 0.708-0.704.-0.707. I don't think a pitchers results are going to move much on a third decimal place move in team DE, and since the OF almost certainly was no better in 11&12 after Mags left (who at least caught the ball) that means as a whole the IF could not have been much worse. I would agree that there was a material drop off from RPs first year in 2009 (DE=0.693), but since Everett has been gone I don't think any of our IFs (10/11/12) have been that much worse or better than any of the others and DE tends to bear that out. I mean, Inge was playing some pretty horrible 3b at the end of his time, Carlos was trying to play 2b in 2010 and 2011. And Cabby has graded out better as a 3b in '12 than as a 1b in prior years by FRAA and Prince rated higher in '12 at 1b by FRAA that Cabby had been at 1b by FRAA. So all in all, yes, they are not a great IF, but the numbers we have don't seem to indicate there has been any striking net changes since the beginning of the 2010 season.

    The problem for me with Porcello is that you really don't have to look at the more abstract aggregates. When you break down his pitch FX charts he just doesn't have good stuff, and he has no effective pitch against left-handers. That is confirmed when you watch him. He cannot throw his fast ball above bats consistently, he cannot fool guys out in front with his change, and the second or third time through the line-up hitters get the measure the sinker and start hitting it and he has no way to break their timing or eye level. The slider does not break big enough to get swings and misses even from right handers.

    I think the kid has a great arm and should (and maybe will) be a much better pitcher than he is, but right now he isn't and arguing that he is is a tough sell.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gehringer_2 View Post
    I think this might be true. Just my WAG speculation, but I think in his over-focus on the sinker, he may lost lost the feel for how to spin the ball hard enough to throw a good slider or a live fastball (since the more a 2 seam sinker spins, the less it sinks). The night of the playoff in 2009 he was spinning his 4 seamer at about 2500 rpm and got 11 whiffs off it. Typically since then his 4 seamer rotates more like 2000 rpm and he gets pretty much no whiffs.

    In comparison, JV's usual FB spins ~3000 rpm and Max can beat that on a good day.
    Wow...where did you get that data? That's fascinating.

    All this suggests, however, is that Porcello's ceiling is higher than his level of play now. I don't see any reason for him to have permanently lost the ability to throw a fastball that moves.

    I've been pretty impressed with Jeff Jones so far. I'd like to see him have one more offseason with Rick before I totally give up on him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCouga View Post
    Wow...where did you get that data? That's fascinating.

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